Jerry Mesch built his father's garage when he was 16 years old. He says he liked using the space to work on cars and unfortunately his favorite past time sparked the detached garage to go up in flames.
It happened at about two this afternoon when Mesch was grinding a metal bracket for his friends' pickup truck. He says he noticed an orange glow coming from behind an air compressor. He then called for help, but says there were some problems getting through to the dispatcher.
"Tried to put it out, called 911 two times they hung up on me twice. It took a while for them to get here cause they're a volunteer fire department, Mesch says"
Dispatchers at the Winnebago County 9-1-1 center says they're looking into why Mesch had problems getting through. The fire chief says it took the seven fire departments about six minutes to show up. Which he says is a little longer than usual due to the daytime hour and the amount of volunteer firefighters on staff. Now as for Mesch, he says he's lucky the fire didn't spread to the house and that he got out okay
The fire chief says gas cans caused the fire to spread so quickly. A Chevy pickup truck and a Ford Taurus were destroyed in the fire.